Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

If you look at place settings in an antique store, you might notice that the dinner plates are a lot smaller than the ones we use today. In fact, yesteryear’s dinner plates were about the size of today’s salad plates. That’s a big difference!

Combine that fact with the reality that portion sizes at restaurants have ballooned over the past 30-odd years and it might make it easier to understand why our waistlines have ballooned as well. This article at dietsinreview.com talks about this very issue.

We tend to eat what’s put before us. The increase in restaurant portions often means that we are eating far more than we should. Add to that the fact that restaurants often fill the plate with cheap, high-carb things like fries, bread, or rice, and we end up consuming way too many calories. Families also used to sit down to dinner together, using that time to catch up on their day and connect. Now we can find a typical family eating in front of the TV or gulping down their food in order to rush off to do something else. We aren’t paying enough attention to what we’re eating!

There are four things that we can do to combat our increasing waistlines (and rising blood glucose, for those of us with diabetes).

  1. Ask for a to-go box at restaurants before you begin to eat. Place half of your food in the box, and take it home with you for another meal.

  2. Share your entrée with a friend.

  3. Put your fork down between bites to help you to slow down. Eating slowly will help you feel fuller sooner and keep you from eating too much.

  4. Use smaller plates at home. Not only will you put less food on your plate, but your brain will be tricked into thinking you are eating more since your plate looks so full.

These four small adjustments will make a big difference in your health.